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Forsman takes lead at Greater Hickory Classic

Associated Press Modified: October 12, 2012 at 6:02 pm •  Published: October 12, 2012

CONOVER, N.C. (AP) — Dan Forsman overcame back problems Friday to shoot a 7-under 65 and take a one-stroke lead over Fred Funk, David Frost and Larry Mize in the Greater Hickory Classic.

Forsman had eight birdies and a bogey in the opening round on Rock Barn Golf and Spa's Jones Course. He won the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Hawaii in January for his third Champions Tour title.

The 54-year-old player pulled a back muscle two weeks ago.

"I hadn't struck a ball until (Thursday)," Forsman said. "I've been able to spend a lot of time on the putting green, and that paid off. I knew I had to play sensible because I had my limitations ... but my momentum built up once I made some putts. It was fun. I enjoyed the heck out of it."

Frost and Mize had bogey-free rounds, and Funk had four birdies and a closing eagle on the par-5 18th.

"I had a few opportunities early that I didn't make," said Funk, who won at The Woodlands in Texas in May for his seventh Champions Tour title and first in nearly two years. "But it turned out to be a good day."

Defending champion Mark Wiebe and Jay Don Blake shot 67. Wiebe had a hole-in-one on No. 3.

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